Older maternal age and child behavioral and cognitive outcomes A review of the literature
Older maternal age appears to exert a protective effect on offspring behavioral and cognitive outcomes. The extent to which this relationship is causal remains unclear.
Jessica Elizabeth Tearne, B.A.
Volume 103, Issue 6, Pages 1381-1391
The trend toward delayed childbearing is widespread in industrialized nations. Although the physical consequences for offspring in utero and in the prenatal period are well known, the psychologic consequences of older motherhood for offspring have received less attention in the literature. In contrast to the heightened physical risks for offspring, the existing research suggests that children of older mothers are often at lower risk for problem behavioral and academic outcomes compared with offspring of mothers in their teens and twenties. Maternal age is inextricably linked with a complex web of psychosocial variables, and the challenge for future research is to better understand the relative influence of these variables on the relationship between maternal age and offspring outcomes.